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How to Give Up Coffee

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Caffeine is the modern drug of choice in the work world, easily accessible, socially acceptable, readily affordable, and of course perfectly legal. As for the health effects, I’ve read evidence both for good and ill, so right now I don’t fall strongly on either side. One thing is clear though — caffeine is addictive. And this addictive nature is what leans me towards the negative side.

As a teenager I often drank sodas; cola was my favorite. I never drank coffee as a teenager, and I rarely drank it in college. But when I got into programming PC games, I’d sometimes drink coffee every day for months at a time. But I’d always eventually break the habit and have no caffeine for months at a time too. It was sort of cyclical.

Then I read the book Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz, which is the story of Starbucks (Schultz is the CEO). Schultz made gourmet coffee sound so good, that I embarked on a Starbucks kick for a while and tried all different kinds of gourmet coffees, espressos, soy lattes, etc. I know not all coffee drinkers like Starbucks (my mom surely doesn’t), but I still think their coffee is among the best. Another favorite of mine was Lion Coffee from Hawaii. I bought a nice espresso maker and used it to make my own soy cappucinos (I avoid all dairy products).

I really grew to like the taste of different gourmet coffees, which were much better than the swill I used to drink in college. But it was so easy to fall into a pattern of addiction, drinking coffee out of habit instead of only when I actually wanted some. Today I still drink coffee on occasion, but that’s the exception. Most of the time I don’t consume any caffeine for weeks or months at a time. I found it fairly easy to break the habit. Here are a couple ways to do it:

Method 1: Coffee to Herbal Tea

First, switch from coffee to tea. You still get the caffeine from tea, but not as much. Enjoy some good quality tea — not Lipton! I particular like Earl Grey and Green Tea. I found this easy to do right away. But if you find it too hard to switch so abruptly, then make the transition over a period of weeks equal to the number of cups of coffee you drink each day. For example, if you drink 4 cups of coffee a day, then switch to 3c coffee / 1c tea for the first week, then go 2c/2c for the second week, then 1c/3c, and finally 0c/4c for the fourth week.

Next, make the transition from regular tea to caffeine-free (not decaffeinated) herbal tea. Herbal tea isn’t really tea, but it’s close. Celestial Seasonings offers a wide variety of flavors. I recommend getting a variety pack to see which kinds you like. You can do the switch abruptly, or use the gradual method above. Now you’re caffeine free.

Method 2: Coffee to Grain Coffee

Switch from coffee to grain coffee. Grain coffee is to coffee as herbal tea is to tea, and grain coffee is naturally caffeine-free. Grain coffee isn’t real coffee, but it’s a ground mixture of things like grains, nuts, dried fruit, and natural flavors that you can put into a regular drip coffee maker and make something that looks and tastes similar to coffee. Some grain coffees I tried were very bitter and well… disgusting. After trying a few different types, I found one I really liked: Teeccino. I buy it at Whole Foods. This has the best taste of all the ones I’ve tried, and it comes in a variety of flavors: vanilla nut, java, hazelnut, chocolate mint, almond amaretto, etc. Sometimes I mix different flavors together to make interesting concoctions. While I still usually prefer the rich taste of a good cup of Sumatra coffee, this stuff isn’t too bad. It tastes similar to coffee, but it has a unique flavor of its own, and it’s not acidic like coffee is. I typically mix a little Rice Dream (rice milk) into each cup to make it creamier.

A great way to transition to grain coffee is to mix it with regular coffee as you scoop the dry grounds into your coffee filter. So if you use 4 scoops of ground coffee normally, then try 3 scoops of coffee with 1 scoop of grain coffee for the first week, and continue to transition gradually as in the first method above.

Part of the addiction of coffee drinking is having a warm beverage, so the two methods above focus on that. I really like having something warm to drink, especially during the winter. I even have a small mug warmer on my desk. I usually alternate for weeks at a time between Teecino and herbal tea. Today I’ve already had two cups of Vanilla Nut Teeccino.

I suppose you could try a similar process if you’re addicted to soda by transitioning to something else like water or juice, but I’ve never found it hard to give up soda.

I don’t recommend decaffeinated coffee or tea because known carcinogens are used in the decaffeination process, and decaffeinated drinks are still highly acidic. From what I’ve read on this, I’d say you’re better off with caffeine.

When you give up caffeine, you’re likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. If I’m doing 4c coffee a day and then go cold turkey, I get headaches and backaches, and generally my emotions are out of whack for several days. But I still personally prefer to transition quickly rather than gradually. I’d rather just get the withdrawal over with.

Why Give Up Coffee at All?

I can’t ignore the energy boost and mental acceleration that comes from caffeine. But I do notice negative side effects when I drink coffee. Caffeine seems to make part of my brain overactive and another part underactive. I become really good at doing things, but very bad at prioritizing what needs to be done. If I drink a lot of coffee, I’ll often spend hours doing a bunch of low priority tasks, and I find that other unproductive habits are more likely to be done excessively. I become like a rat in a treadmill, doing more and more but not accomplishing what really matters. I find it very hard to focus on the big picture from a holistic whole-brain standpoint if I’ve consumed caffeine.

I also feel that caffeine blocks too much of my intuition and creativity. I miss subtle sensory input, and my thinking becomes too linear. Sometimes linear thinking is OK though. If I have a lot of menial tasks to complete, and I already have a clear to-do list to follow, drinking a cup of coffee can get me through them quickly. But if I have to sit down and do high-level work like developing my next quarterly plan, caffeine will make a mess of my thought process and dramatically reduce my ability to concentrate. My mind races too much on caffeine; it’s hard to stay focused on just one thing.

Additionally, caffeine definitely disrupts my sleep habits. Even if I have a cup of coffee in the morning and none for the rest of the day, I don’t sleep as well. I wake up in the middle of the night, or it’s hard for me to get out of bed in the morning. When I consume no caffeine, I sleep more restfully and wake up easily. I also don’t experience so much midday sleepiness.

And lastly caffeine makes me feel hotter than usual, including while I sleep. I need to turn the air conditioner up to feel comfortable, so that’s another hidden cost.

There’s also a nice page on Teeccino’s site about the top reasons to be caffeine-free.

I’m not saying you need to give up coffee entirely, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to remain addicted to it throughout the year, especially if you experience a drop in intution, creativity, and holistic thinking as I do. If you find it becoming an addiction, try one of the methods above to transition to a coffee substitute like herbal tea or grain coffee. Then you still get to enjoy a warm beverage without the negative side effects. I think it’s easer when you have a substitute for coffee instead of having to do completely without, but this won’t be necessary for everyone.

This article is copyright © by Steve Pavlina and is reprinted with permission. For more personal development articles, visit Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development for Smart People.

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Dog Training Tips – What You Need to Know

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While kids everywhere else in the world (especially in Finland!) relax and probably enjoy their studies, the kids in India aren’t so lucky.

Everyone else already has a laptop and is well-versed with it, and yet our children continue to do things the old-fashioned way.

It’s typical of this country to lag behind in a number of departments but it’s sacrilege when it comes to hampering the future of our nation. To be honest, this has been my biggest gripe for a while now, thanks to being able to see the difference the way different education systems work.

At least, they don’t hit children anymore because this generation of kids are more than happy to stand up to their adults and rebel verbally and violently.

Speaking of disciplinary action such as this, why should we use it especially since most dog trainers have moved away from training dogs this way as well. There are certain cases, like training dogs in a city, that can make things more difficult. However, a few simple tips can help one navigate these sometimes troublesome waters.

A Few Thoughts on Dog Training
You might say that humans and animals are different but it begs the question: Is cruelty necessary?

It isn’t, truly. But that’s how dogs have been trained in the past.

The general attitude towards teaching obedience training has been harsh, to say the least. Whether it is a beating or even shock collars to keep them in check, one wonders if it is fair since we wouldn’t be allowed to treat humans that way too.

So, it is not with love and affection that the poor canines were trained but by subjugation and inculcating behaviors that were forced due to the “fear of punishment”.

Thankfully, common sense prevailed and a method known as ‘positive reinforcement’ has changed the way dog training is done now.

In other words, instead of punishing them for bad behavior, we reward them for good behavior instead.
What does happen is that when they are rewarded, they tend to do what pleases the ‘master’ if only for a few more treats.

It is how school children should be treated as well when learning manners too. One should refrain from criticizing their children but encouraging them for their achievements, however minimal.

That said, here are a few dog training tips that one can use even if the services of a dog trainer isn’t required at all.

Dog Training Tips – The Basics
The most popular commands that are taught are sit, down, heel, recall, stay and close where the right behavior is rewarded and the wrong is ignored.

While these commands are necessary, there are others that can cause problems with friends and family, and so here are a few situations that a dog must be trained for:

#1: Not to Bite
When they have the urge to bite, tug at their leash so as to divert their attention to something else that interests him or her.

#2: Fetch an object
Throw a tennis ball and walk away so that the dog gets it back for you. Then you can teach it to fetch other objects such as the newspaper too as it understand the meaning of this command.

#3: Not to bark at visitors
Since this can be scary for visitor, train them to “sit” as soon as the doorbell rings.

#4: Crate training puppies
Using a kennel crate works best as they are more likely to pee or poop when they are asleep.

In Closing
So, are there any other dog training tips that you would like to add to this list? Feel free to add them in the comments section below.

Also, here is an article on the best dog foods.

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What You Need for the Perfect Gym Storage Solution

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If you operate your own professional gym or are looking to create a home setup, it’s crucial that you carefully consider your storage solutions. A tidy gym is without doubt a happy environment for people to work out in!

Good storage will help protect equipment from scratches and other damage, make it easy to find where equipment has been left, and prevent hazards such as trips.

It can also help the gym to feel more of a clean and organised environment that can keep members motivated while working out, which typically leads to a higher retention rate.

When it comes to gym storage, there are not many companies around that share the same expert knowledge as PowerGym Fitness. PowerGym is a supplier of commercial gym equipment, from weights and barbells to high-end strength training machines, with clients throughout the world.

They are also experienced in providing gyms with advice and support for installing the perfect setup.

PowerGym Fitness have provided us with some pointers on how you can create the perfect gym storage solution for your commercial facility or home setup.

Dumbbell Racks

The type of storage you will require can depend on the type of equipment that your gym provides. For example, some gyms may specialize in cardio equipment as opposed to strength training, or vice versa. That said, most gyms will typically include dumbbells.

Dumbbells are a popular form of free weights that can help users to build muscle mass. Dumbbell racks are one of the best ways that you can keep your gym tidy and free of hazards.

Without a rack, there would be no designated place for members to collect and return a dumbbell. Dumbbells left on the floor can cause damage and can be hazardous for other members when walking around the gym space.

These racks are designed to securely hold a certain amount of dumbbells when they are not in use. All round, it adds a safer and more organised structure to your environment and increases the longevity of the dumbbells.

Weight Plates Holders

As with dumbbells, most gyms typically include some type of weight plates. Tri grip and bumper weight plates are two examples that are available for purchase at PowerGym Fitness.

The plates can be attached to a barbell which can be used for effective and flexible weightlifting routines. One type of weight plate holder includes a storage tree.

This provides the option of a simple vertical holder where the plates can just slide on to a storage horn. Another option is a wall weight plate storage, allowing easy access to plates from a wall position – plus, it saves up space and improves the aesthetic design of your gym!

Mat Hangers

Gym mats are essential for exercises that require closer physical contact with the floor. This can include press-up exercises as well as Yoga, Pilates and studio workouts. Mats provide an extra level of comfort so that you don’t encounter discomfort when encountering the floor.

Mats can be used by a lot of people each day, so naturally there’s a lot of wear and tear. Mats that aren’t stored properly can lead to greater damage which will result in you needing to replace the mats sooner than should be required. With a mat hanger, when the mats are not in use, they can be stored safely to prevent unnecessary damage.

Barbell Storage

Whether you use a barbell freely or with a weight plate attached, it’s important that you store the bar appropriately when it’s not in use. Bars can be very heavy which can lead to floor damage and potentially serious injury if it drops to the floor or is left unsecured.

Like with weight plates, there are options for horizontal and vertical storage. These storage products can either be attached to the wall or the floor. They provide an organised and safe place for barbells to rest when not in use.

Cable Attachment Racks

Cable attachments are additional products that can help athletes take their strength training to the next level with varied workouts. With several types of attachments available, from revolving bars to handles and ropes, they expand the options that are available on a cable machine.

Most of these attachments are quite small, so it can be easy for them to become lost or get muddled in with other pieces of equipment. A cable attachment rack is a great way to store the attachments so that gym members can easily see where the attachments they require are placed.

Power Rack Storage Horns

Power racks are fantastic pieces of equipment to have in your gym. They are premium products that often act as the centerpiece of the gym. Power racks provide a safe space to perform a wide range of exercises, with freedom of choice left to the user.

Alongside the power rack, it’s widely recommended that you get storage horns that will seamlessly attach to the power rack. These horns can then be used as a storage option for weight plates. It will allow you to free up space around the gym and provides users with a quick and easy way to access the plates they need.

Storage Cages

The storage options that we have talked about so far clearly relate to products that have been specifically designed for certain gym equipment. To improve the tidiness, safety and structure of your facility event further, you can get a storage cage that will hold the rest of your smaller items.

This can include things such as medicine balls and bags, as well as boxing equipment. The cage can usually be locked for added security and with lockable wheels, it’s easy to transport the equipment from place to place.

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Top Five Supplement Reviews To Check Out

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In this modern world, we are so used to having a lot of “instant”. Most of us are not used to the long and arduous processes, even though we think we do. You may have noticed the impatience of most people especially when it comes to services. They want to have what they want right now, and this is why most companies adapt to the situation.

You can see it in their products and services; they want to deliver it fast enough to save more time. The same reason applies to humans who want them all as soon as they can. Even the food industry has to go with this notion, but this has also led to a new trend: obesity.

This may not be a problem in most countries. In the West though, it is considered a major health issue. There has been an increase in the overall weight of the US population for example; at least 40% of the people over 20 are overweight as this article reveals.

It has been such a serious problem due to the prevalence of fast-food chains. There is nothing wrong with consuming them, but many depend on them for their daily diet. With all of its sugars and salt, it can be quite detrimental to your health in the long run.

New Horizons in Medicine

Fortunately, there have been advances in the field of medicine as well. Weight loss has become way different compared to the way it was in the previous century. People did not know anything about it. There was a time when fat is considered as the devil’s advocate of being overweight, and sugar was thought to be the healthier option. Even though this has already changed in recent times, there is still a prevalence of this kind of thought in many circles. If you want to lose weight, you need to read and learn more about the proper way of doing it.

There might be a lot of factors that can contribute to this goal but we are just going to narrow it down to three: diet, exercise, and genetics. There is nothing that we can do with the last one though since this is already in our system. Some people might be lucky enough that they do not need to control their diet or even exercise. Their bodies have already reached their full potential, so all they need to do is to maintain it.

Unfortunately, others are not that lucky. It is either they need to have a rigorous diet plan, more exercise, or both. It is a lot of effort to lose the mass, but it can be worth it in the end. You may visit Supplement Smarts website and other similar sites to learn more info regarding this.

If you are experiencing difficulties or you want to have the results faster, then you might need to take a supplement for that. There are many options in the market these days, so choosing just one can be quite confusing. You also need to understand that not all of these supplements may work for you. Below are some of the best substances that can certainly help you with weight loss.

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Options for Cutting Those Flabs

  1. Caffeine

Everyone knows what this is; it is just the main ingredient in the most popular beverage in the world besides water. Aside from being the universal pick-me-up in the mornings, it has also been found that caffeine can assist in weight loss.

It speeds up metabolism moderately, which also helps in the faster absorption of calorie intake and fat burning process. However, you do need to take it in conjunction with other substances for it to take on full effects. You also need to be careful as it can still cause dependence.

  1. Green tea Extract

Another common beverage that has some medicinal properties, green tea has been around for ages. It has its origins in China, but the rest of the world is already enjoying it. However, green tea is the fresher version and it has little to no added processing in its consumption.

It is rich in antioxidants, as well as having the ability to burn fat. It is more focused on the stomach area though, where most of our extra fat goes anyway. If you want to reduce your waistline, then having this a part of your daily supplement may help with that. Check this link https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269538 to know more.

  1. Garcinia cambogia Extract

This might seem to be unfamiliar to most people, but it has been gaining some popularity in the previous decade due to its mainstream exposure. It is a green fruit with pale flesh, and it is native to Indonesia although other countries have started cultivating it as well.

Garcinia cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid, also known as citric acid lyase. This is said to help in losing weight by also removing excess fat from the body. There are still ongoing studies about this as there is unclear evidence of how it works. However, it is safe to consume as long as you control your dose.

  1. Hydroxycut

This is another form of supplement, but this time it is a combination of other substances including caffeine, wild mint extract, and cumin extract among others. It was developed by MuscleTech Research and Development, and it aims to help you lose those extra pounds.

It has been rather popular for the first ten years of its existence due to these various extracts. Even though it is under one name, there are many kinds of it available in the market. Some of them even exclude some ingredients like caffeine for those who have adverse effects from taking them.

  1. Glucomannan

Lastly, this is a diet supplement made from a root vegetable called konjac or elephant yam. It is full of fiber amongst other nutrients, which make them great for controlling your eating habits. Once you eat or drink a supplement, it will make you feel full because of all the fiber.

It will also help with digestion and excretion of wastes in your stomach. However, you will need to drink a lot of water when using this as it can promote too much hydration loss. You will also need to check on your doctor if you can use this safely and follow the dosage always.

 

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